You likely know your husband better than anyone. As his wife, you’re also called to be your husband’s helper. This is made clear in Genesis 2:18 when God said “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him”. Then God created woman! Well, one of the many ways you can truly “help” your husband is to gently, humbly and lovingly voice your concerns when your husband is clearly heading off course in some area of his life.
Is your husband drinking more and more alcohol? Is your husband spending increasing overtime hours at work to the detriment of his health or family time? Is your man overly busy and unable to squeeze in any time for exercise? Is your guy coming up with reasons why he can’t make it to church lately?
If you see your husband’s life getting out of balance, you can do two things. First, pray that the Holy Spirit would convict your husband about his decisions or behavior and that the Holy Spirit would make your man aware of the correction he needs to make. Secondly, ask God if He wants you to gently bring up the concern for discussion with your husband.
Take a lower physical position than him (such as kneeling beside him while he sits on the couch). This position comes across as very humble and gentle and he will likely become less defensive.
Tell him some things you really appreciate and admire about him, and say “I am for you”.
Tell him something like “I’m in this with you. I’m your partner. How can I help you?”
You might also say “I’m struggling with some stuff too (tell him about your own struggle) so maybe we can help each other”. When you display humility, he will likely be much less defensive about the concerns you’re raising.
Want to improve your communication interactions with your husband? Well, maybe it would help if you understood three things that really matter to most men when it comes to communication. Here they are:
1) Most husbands prefer that their wife be direct in stating what they want or need. They don’t respond to hints. They don’t want to have to read between the lines or try to read your mind. They just want you to come right out and state what you want or need…and it helps if you can state your needs calmly, without a lot of drama or intense emotion.
2) Most husbands want you to keep it simple and short. They don’t want long explanations or fascinating details. Their minds begin to wander after about 30 seconds! So get to the point quickly. Ecclesiastes 5:3 is a good reminder. It says “Many words mark the speech of a fool“.
3) All husbands need their wives to be respectful, both while talking and while listening. This is Biblical. Ephesians 5:33 says “the wife must respect her husband“. This means speaking to your husband in a respectful tone and making sure your body language and facial expressions show honor. No eye-rolling! It also means that you listen attentively when your husband is speaking to you, and you refrain from interrupting him, finishing his sentences, or correcting him. Oh, and one more thing. It means you let him have a few moments to unwind when he comes in the door at the end of the day before you launch into a big discussion!
Many of you are probably familiar with the 5 love languages as explained by Christian counselor and author Gary Chapman, but I’m pretty sure that many of us are making some mistakes when trying to use the “love languages”.
Before I go any further, let me explain the theory of the love languages and give a brief description of each one. The idea is that every person has one or two prominent ways that they receive the message they are loved by the other person in the relationship. Also, if the other person fails to communicate in your dominant “love language”, you may feel unloved. The 5 love languages are: word of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, physical touch, and gifts.
Here’s where a lot of us make a mistake. We tend to try to communicate love to the other person in the love language that we prefer….the particular way that makes us feel loved….even though that may not be the other person’s love language at all! It’s a natural tendency to want to give love in the way that seems meaningful to you. However, it may not mean much of anything to that other person if that’s not their primary love language! The Bible tells us in Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. But that doesn’t mean devote yourself to showing love in the way YOU want to receive it!
I had that light bolt realization the other day. I was feeling kind of frustrated because my attempts to show love seemed to fall flat, to go unnoticed, and to be totally unappreciated. What? Then I stepped back and realized I was trying to show love in my love language, not his! Duh! I also realized that I was expending a lot of energy trying to communicate love in a way that really wasn’t important to him. Have you been doing the same thing? Maybe it’s time to talk with the other person about which love language is most meaningful to him and then start actually speaking that particular love language instead of your own! It will save you time, energy, and frustration, and it will bring the message of love to him!
If you’re anything like me, there’s a good chance that you may sound too much like a “mother” instead of a wife when talking to your husband, at least from time to time. I still remember the time a few years ago that I caught myself sounding like my husband’s mother. He was heading out the door and for some reason, I felt compelled to say, “Don’t forget to eat some breakfast before you go”. Really? Did I need to say that?! Did my husband really need me to point out that he should remember to feed himself? What? Is he 3 years old or something? Oh brother.
When we remind our husbands about things that would be obvious to any adult, we’re actually being disrespectful. Ouch. It’s as if we’re telling our husbands that we don’t think they’re capable of making basic, reasonable decisions. We sound like we’re talking to a toddler! “Don’t forget to take a coat.”…”Be careful that you don’t hurt yourself with that hammer”…”Let me explain to you how to do _________.”
Let’s keep in mind the Bible’s instruction to wives in Ephesians 5:33, where God says “the wife must respect her husband”. Men crave the respect of their wives just like women desire to be deeply cherished. Don’t communicate disrespect to your husband by talking to him like he’s an ignorant or helpless child who needs a mother to guide him.
Proverbs 18:21 says “the tongue has the power of life and death”. Oh my. Consider how many words a woman usually speaks in just one day, and you can see the potential for disaster!
It took me a couple decades to really understand this fact. The words spoken by a wife to her husband can either build him up and give him confidence to step up and be an even better man…or her words can tear him down to the point that he emotionally withdraws from her and doesn’t try to accomplish much of anything because he believes he’s a failure.
What kind of words are you speaking to your husband? Are you his biggest cheerleader? Do you intentionally encourage him every single day, or do you give in to the temptation to point out his many flaws on a regular basis? He NEEDS you to believe in him and encourage him. By the way, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t hold him accountable or put boundaries in place if he is actively sinning against you. However, even then, you can address sinful behavior with an attitude that is loving and hopeful. You can still let your husband know that you see something good in him.